England likely to miss target to end rough sleeping by 2024
Read the article from The Guardian below and the links given in the text, and answer the following questions;
- What is the government’s target regarding rough sleeping in England and is it likely to be met?
- How much has the number of people sleeping rough in London increased over the past year?
- What is Crisis’s response to the rise in homelessness in the country?
- What was the Everyone In project and how did it affect rough sleeping during lockdown?
- Why are first-time rough sleepers increasing, according to Jasmine Basran?
- What are the underlying issues that cause rough sleeping, according to Basran, and what kind of action is needed to tackle them?
- What is the government doing to tackle rough sleeping and homelessness in the country, according to a spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities?
A leading charity has said the government is likely to miss its target to end rough sleeping in England by 2024, as it reports a rise in homelessness across the country amid the cost of living crisis.
Number of people sleeping rough in London up 24% in a year
More than 3,600 people slept on capital’s streets between June and September, as charities say ‘hard-won’ progress being lost. The Guardian 30.10.22
Crisis said it was “incredibly disappointing” to see more people on the streets, and the success of the government’s Everyone In project, under which rough sleeping dropped to record lows during lockdown, had lost momentum.
“We need to see more political will and attention on this,” said Jasmine Basran, the head of policy and campaigns at the charity.
“The government does have a commitment to end rough sleeping, but the kind of action needed behind it, the political leadership, isn’t happening. Certainly from what our services are saying, we’re confident the target won’t be met without a huge shift in what the government are doing.”
Ahead of the annual rough sleeper snapshot, due to be published this week, Basran said the charity was seeing more first-time rough sleepers, in part due to a lack of affordable housing and the under-resourcing of support services.
Sharon Thompson, the councillor responsible for homelessness in Birmingham, said the number of rough sleepers in the city was expected to be higher than last year, although still lower than pre-Covid levels. She said many in the sector were frustrated that after the Everyone In campaign, the problem was no longer being given the priority it needed.
“In the pandemic, rough sleeping was seen as a public health emergency, and then all of a sudden, we’re no longer on this public health journey with them,” she said. “Since then there’s been a lot of lip service from the government. Ultimately, they’re not building enough social housing, and we can’t eliminate rough sleeping until we have a grownup conversation about migrants and people that are on the streets with no recourse to public funds.”
She was also concerned about broader homelessness across the city, fuelled by the cost of living crisis. Birmingham city council was seeing 500-600 people come forward as homeless each week, and “we’re not in the eye of the storm yet”, said Thompson.
Basran said most government funding to tackle the problem went towards crisis-point intervention rather than tackling the underlying issues that caused rough sleeping in the first place, of which there were many.